Familiar faces have started appearing in the media as the 2018 elections near. Tim Kaine is making a comeback to the scene since his loss to the Republican ticket as Hilary Clinton’s running mate. Kaine cannot seem to shake off the stigma among some Democrats as being part of the ticket that lost to Trump. The 2016 presidential election has been the only election that he’s ever lost in his political career, despite winning the popular vote, and he will once again be running against Trump and his policies.
Before his reelection campaign kicks off in 2018, Senator Kaine has his attention turned to the statewide races in Virginia, where Democrats have the chance to deliver a major electoral rebuke to President Trump. The state’s Democratic Party is hoping to maintain control of the governor's mansion along with flipping control of the Senate, which Republicans narrowly control 21-19. They also believe for the first time since 1999 that they may have a chance of flipping the House of Delegates into their control (Republicans control the chamber 66-34).
Senator Kaine is working with gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam and the candidates for lieutenant governor and attorney general during the off-year election. The emphasis he is putting on the November election is to test his message before he delivers it on his own reelection campaign in 2018. Though, on this pre-campaign trail he still lives under the shadow of his loss, even mentioning it within his own speech by trying to make sense of the defeat.
A potential Republican challenger for Senator Kaine is Trump supporter Corey Stewart, who narrowly lost the Republican nomination for governor by less than 5,000 votes of the more than 365,000 cast, or a 1.2% margin. The 2018 election between these two candidates would likely bring up the past narrative of a democratic moderate approach against the republican populist conservative view. Kaine won his first race for Senate against then Republican Senator George Allen by 53% to 47%. Moving past the 2016 elections, Senator Kaine has stated that he does not have any presidential intentions for 2020.
A face we will not be seeing again for the 2018 election is Michigan Representative Dave Trott. He is yet another Republican incumbent to leave a potential battleground district. Representative Trott stated that his decision to leave is based on wanting to spend more time with his family and return to the private sector.
Democrats have been vying for his seat even before his announcement to leave, making this a strong contested seat that is leaning towards a Democratic candidate. The Democratic nominee appears to be Haley Stevens, who served on former President Barack Obama’s Auto Task Force. The Republican primaries may prove to be competitive in order to fill Representative Trott’s seat, with a few potential candidates: Representative Klint Kesto, state Representative Laura Cox, and Mike Bouchard. Even with inimical primaries, Republicans are vying to keep their seat within the House.
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